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Postcolonialism's contemporary relevance

By Emily Duchenne - Geography Student @ Brasenose College, Oxford


Postcolonial theory is a politico-intellectual idea concerned with the impacts of colonialism on both colonising and colonised peoples in the past, and the reproduction of coloniality in the present. Gaining momentum in the mid-20th century as European colonies, such as India and Malaysia, achieved independence, postcolonial perspectives are widely employed today to interrogate uneven power legacies across diverse and intersecting categories. For example, they examine how race, gender, sexuality and class have been interwoven across colonial spaces throughout time. Here I will explore how postcolonial theory valuably understands the world not as ex-colonial, but continually implicated in it through neo-colonial remakings and practices. Ultimately, the world consists of multiple diverse colonialisms. Furthermore, I will employ a